Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Improving Your Ranking on VRBO

VRBO was one of the pioneers of the Vacation Rentals industry and still remains one of the premier sites, particularly in the US.

VRBO was always feisty and independent ( and sometimes difficult to deal with: they were the least co-operative site that I dealt with in the early days.)

Since the acquisition by Homeaway, my impression is that VRBO has smoothed out some of the rough edges. Although there are some synergies with Homeaway ( including special offers on listing package bundles), many vacation rental owners still rely on VRBO for the lion's share of their bookings.

However, as with all the large sites, as VRBO has grown more popular, getting your listing noticed has become increasingly more difficult. Hence, moving your property up the listings has become more of a priority.

The obvious way to improve your ranking is to purchase upgrade features that facilitate premium placement. However, even without spending additional money, there are some things you can do.

1. Update your calendar at least weekly ( and preferably daily). Listings with updated calendars are given priority over those that have not been updated recently. (This is true on many listing sites, including Homeaway itself). It is very much worth the couple of minutes it takes.

2. Ensure you have all 24 photos loaded. On VRBO, listings with all 24 photos are given priority over those that don't use the full complement of photos available. Most people are not aware of this, but it can substantially improve your rankings.

3. Ensure that you specify any features your vacation rental has, either by "ticking the box" to confirm that feature is available and/or by mentioning it in the text description of your listing. Many people overlook this, but people sometimes search for specific features and this will help ensure you show up in those searches. Also, keep in mind that this can apply to facilities that are nearby. So, for example, if there is a golf course nearby, mention it in your listing and renters looking for golf in your area are more likely to be shown your listing.

With a small amount of effort, you can improve your ranking which should pay off with increased bookings for your vacation rental!

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